I cannot say enough good things about my best friend in the digital world: PhotoShop. Suffice to say I love it! As a Graphic Designer, I use it in 99% of all my projects, and now I enjoy using what I do to make PhotoShop Tutorials for others.
You don't need to be a professional or even and "artist" to create works of art. Nowadays, you don't even have to know how to draw! I intend to create a series of tutorials to illustrate several ways to use this program for creating beautiful pictures and illustrations just by using photographs. In this particular tutorial, I will be showing you how to turn photos into watercolor paintings in a few easy steps.
The only materials needed to follow along with this tutorial are:
--PhotoShop. I use PhotoShop CS3, but you can use whichever version you have.
--A photo. Either a photo of your own or a stock photo. Some really good stock photos can be found for free at Stock Exchange.
That's it! I find a graphic tablet a nice tool for all work I do in PhotoShop and they are fairly cheap these days, but it is definitely not necessary.
This tutorial does assume that you have some basic knowledge of PhotoShop. Having a basic "beginner knowledge" of the program will help a lot. Also, there is a link in my bio for you to see photos that walk you through everything.
1. Open PhotoShop. Then go to File-->Open, select the picture you want to work with and then hit "Open".
2. On the layers palette (on the right side), right click on the "Background Layer" and select duplicate. Do this twice.
3. Click on the first duplicate layer (this should be your middle layer), then go to Image-->Adjustments-->Desaturate. Then click on the second duplicate layer (your top layer) and do the same.
4. On the top layer, go to Image-->Adjustments-->Invert.
5. Still on the top Layer, set the blending mode (located within the layer palette, looks like this:) to "Color Dodge".
6. Still on the top Layer, got to Filter-->Other-->Minimum and set the radius to 1.
6. Now duplicate the bottom layers (the one that still has color) one more time and drags it to the top of your layers. Go to Filter-->Blur-->Gossip and set the radius number in the box anywhere between 1 and 5. Usually the more detailed the picture, the lower you will want to set the radius. Then set the layer-blending mode to "Multiply".
7. Select the PaintBrush Tool, select the soft round or "fuzzy" brush shape at the top and set the size to fit whatever area you are working on. Set the opacity to 20%.
Go to Layer-->New Layer and name your final layer whatever you wish and hit "OK".
Then select the color you wish to paint with and paint the area to improve or change colors.
Each picture you do will have different results. Have fun playing with different levels and colors! I hope you found these PhotoShop Tutorials easy to follow. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.